By Lana M
I have a 7 year old and a “just turned” 4 year old. In only a few years I have seen more accidents, bangs, bonks and spills than I could count. Toddlers and young children take a while to get the control buttons worked out for their bodies, and mis-estimation on the strength, or distance or effort required for something is common place.
In addition to tripping up the stairs, rolling off the bed, falling over their own feet, hitting themselves in the head accidentally, and getting sand in their eyes – there is also tearing down a steep hill too fast, going over the handlebars of the bike, falling out of a tree, and of course – hitting your brother in the head with a light saber.
Yep – there are no lack of bandaids in my house.
From a Dianetic view, I have always tried to remain quiet after an accident, provide support (but not sympathy), and do Contact Assists as best as possible.
I came across this simple technique from Child Dianetics which I now use every time there is another knock, bonk or spill. It works wonders, so I thought I should share it:
“In cases of minor physical injury, anyone around the child may run to assist. But in young children, often just letting them cry it out seems to be enough. When a child is hurt, most people find themselves speaking comforting and consoling words almost before they know it. And what they say is usually what they have said a hundred times before when the child was hurt. This restimulates the whole chain of injuries.
“Parents can help a child most by saying nothing. It may take a short while to train themselves not to speak when the child is hurt, but it is not difficult to form the habit of remaining silent. Silence need not inhibit affection. One may hold the child, if he wants to be held, or put an arm around him. Often, if nothing is said, a young child will cry hard for a minute or so, and then suddenly stop, smile, and run back to what he was doing. Allowing him to cry seems to release the tension resulting from the injury, and no assist is needed if this occurs. In fact, it is often very difficult to make the child return to the moment of injury if he has run it out himself this way. He will avoid the pain of returning as he would the original pain, and probably the incident is already run out and refiled, and therefore no longer important enough to trouble about.
“But if the child does not spontaneously recover after a moment or two of crying, then wait until he has recovered from the short period of anaten that accompanies an injury. It is usually not difficult to tell when a child is dazed and when he is not. If he still cries after the dazed period, it is usually because other previous injuries have been restimulated. In this case, an assist is valuable. On older children (5 and up) an assist is usually necessary.
“When the child is no longer dazed, ask him, “What happened? How did you get hurt? Tell me about it.”
“As he begins to tell about it, switch him to the present tense if he doesn’t tell the story in the present tense spontaneously. Try it this way:
““Well – I was standing on a big rock and I slipped and fell, and…” (crying) “Does it hurt when you are standing on the rock?” “No.” “What happens when you are standing on the rock?” “I slip…” (crying) “Then what happens?” “I fall on the ground.” “Is there grass on the ground?” “No – it’s all sandy.” “Tell me about it again.”
“You can take the child through it several times until he gets bored or laughs. There is nothing difficult about it, and the whole process may be so casual and easy that any one un-familiar with Dianetics will not realize that anything unusual is being done. After a child has had a few assists run this way, he will, upon being injured, run to the person who can administer this painless help and reassurance, demanding to “tell about it.”” LRH, Book Child Dianetics